Years of nonprofit board experience and founding two nonprofits have taught Boardable CEO Jeb Banner a thing or two about what makes for a good board experience. Some will tell you that a good board is one full of great fundraisers. Others feel that exceptional vision is the hallmark of an effective board of directors. After working with boards professionally and personally, Jeb has distilled the best board qualities down to one characteristic: board engagement. He spoke about what defines engagement in August at the Foundation for Fraternal Excellence and North American Interfraternity Conference.
Attendance. Do you have a quorum at every meeting? Do some members have chronic attendance problems? Simply prioritizing meetings is a sign that your board members feel their time is being valued and they are eager to be present.
Preparation. If board members arrive at your meeting having never glanced at the agenda or any other relevant information, you might have an engagement problem. People who are excited about the work they are doing will work on it between meetings and be ready for discussions.
Meetings. Nothing drives people to be less engaged than boring, unproductive meetings. Simple fixes like conducting new business at the beginning of a meeting and making sure everyone speaks early on can make a huge difference.
Follow-through. Ever been to a great meeting where everyone is raising their hand to help somehow? And then… they don’t do anything they committed to doing? Strong engagement goes hand in hand with follow-through.
Advocacy. An organization needs its members to be the biggest cheerleaders. Telling friends about the mission, speaking about the organization at events, and educating governmental agencies about the work are just a few ways board members can be engaged advocates. RELATED: Etiquette Guide: Social Media for Sororities and Fraternities
Fundraising. The elephant in many board rooms is the fundraising expected of board members. While it may take time and effort for individuals to find their niche in development, engaged board members will always be trying to improve. RELATED: Digital Fundraising Ideas for Sororities and Fraternities
Donating. Simply put, if you aren’t engaged enough in the work of a nonprofit to donate your own funds at some level, you probably shouldn’t be a board member. It doesn’t have to be thousands of dollars, but some amount of personal financial investment makes for more accountable board members.
Hopefully the tips in the slide deck will shine some light on how to improve the board engagement at your nonprofit. With a fully-involved board of directors, everything from the mission work to finances will be stronger at your nonprofit.
Want to know how your fraternity, sorority, or Greek foundation board can focus more on scholarship and less on chasing emails, hunting for documents, and waiting for board members to respond to discussions? With Boardable’s board portal, you can centralize board information and communications, where everything (and everyone) is just a couple of clicks away.Click below to get started with Boardable.
As Senior Vice President of Marketing at Boardable, Julie is passionate about helping nonprofits tap into new technology in order to better serve their missions and constituents. With 18 years of online experience under her belt, Julie has previously served as the Vice President of Digital Marketing at two digital-marketing agencies and as the Director of Marketing at a mobile app startup. Julie sits on the Board of Directors of the U.S. Superyacht Association. She has been a volunteer with Girls, Inc. of Greater Indianapolis as a program facilitator and has participated in four Indy Habitat for Humanity Women Build events, most recently as a Team Co-Leader.